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On her way to New Orleans, Lilah--a young widow--suffers more misery than she can stand when a man falls into her van. The man drops a suitcase that Lilah accidentally opens but doesn’t understand the contents. Curious, she heeds the advice of a graveyard psychic. The psychic gives her a crystal necklace and tells her to find a secret diary. In searching for the diary, Lilah gets intimate with a handsome musician and dangerously close to murder.
Fat Tuesday, February 15
St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans
If you had seen me on that day you would have said I was a hyper child, not the mother of a teenager. I couldn’t sit still, much less find a comfortable position in an unforgiving church pew.
I was nervous about meeting the President of the United States, and the harder I tired to focus on the questions I wanted to ask, the more fidgety I became.
I don’t recall how many times I checked myself in the mirror and redid the hair pins on my French twist. I do remember thinking about how my life had changed since Martha--the cemetery psychic--gave me the crystal necklace.
“Didn’t I know you in your other life? When you weren’t the enemy?“, a U.S. Senator once told Sandy Semerad (then Sandy Ryles).
By “enemy,“ he meant her job as news reporter. Not long before Senator Nunn made those comments, Sandy had earned a journalism degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta.
The Senator had known her as the wife of one of his colleagues, the mother of two daughters, and the lady who wore hot pants at his picnic, announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. But news reporter? How could that be?
Today, he might not be surprised to learn Sandy has lived more lives than a cat: from model, wife, and mother, to reporter, editor, columnist, broadcast news director, singer, songwriter, makeup artist, and creative writer.
Small wonder. She grew up in a tiny Alabama town, but moved around quite a bit after her father died. Back then, her mother, a pianist and painter, didn’t like to stay put. She was following her dreams and had high hopes for her two daughters. She wanted Sandy to become a famous singer.
Instead, she married her childhood sweetheart, Tim. They produced two daughters and led a busy political life. Sandy campaigned for Tim when he ran for state-wide office; and also helped former President Jimmy Carter and U.S. Senator Sam Nunn get elected.
Sandy now lives in Destin, Florida, with husband Larry, a pianist who earned his chops as a New Orleans musician. Together, they wrote two musicals and numerous songs. Three of their songs have been recorded by New Orleans‘ artists.
After completing Mardi Gravestone, Sandy began Hurricane House, a mystery, set in a small, Florida fishing village like Destin. Other works in progress include: a non fiction book on child rearing and a children’s book, Napoleona.
When Sandy isn’t following her muse, she travels for a national publisher, helping Chambers of Commerce promote their area.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 300
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